Skip to main content

Full text of "The explanation and application of the Solemn League and Covenant : for the reformation and defence of religion, the honour and happiness of the king, and peace and safety of the three kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ireland : enjoined by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament in England, and by the Estates of the Parliament of Scotland, to be taken by every man within the three kingdoms, 1643"

See other formats

fcj* ^ 

yl+~jtLc~o i / 

I & / 

..* i v- c V 








Explanation &vA Application 

O F T H E 

Solemn League 



The REFORMATION and Defence of 

Religion, the Honour and Happinefs of the 
King, and Peace and Safety of the Three 
Kingdoms of Scotland, England ancj 

Enjoined by the Lords and Commons aflembled in 
Parliament in England, and by the Eftates of the 
Parliament of Scotland, to be taken by every Man 
within the Three KINGDOMS, 1643. . 

By the Reverend Mr. Richard Ward Minifies 
of Stanfieed-Mount-Fitcbetm ESSEX. 

Another of the fame, by the Reverend and Learned 
Divines of the Church of Ireland, about the Time 
of taking and fubferibing the Covenant in that King- 

To which is added 

A Vindication of the perpetual Obligation of our Co* 

venants, by the Reverend Mr. JUx»vder Shields. 

Printed in the Year M. DCC XXXVIL 


The PuWifhcr to th^ READER. 

Chriftian Reader, 

rHE following Explanations of the Solemn Le:gue and 
■•en of the National Covenant, and Solemn League 
and ( t feveral Articles 

I .:! Duties bound to 
in tie fame, a?>d the Corruptions ana Errors condemned and 
abjured therein. Hi ten and apy c Reverend 

and Learned L rs and Suffer: Ccve- 

flints, . I and zealous for tie fir ft taking 

and fubferibin^ the fame, a rtainly heft under flood )& 

■:ew the true Intent and Me vin- J 

die at ion and Explanation, clearly and fully confutes the many 
Jenfelefs, fcoli/b and groundlefs Objections that many of the 
Carriers on, and Compliers with the prefent Defection and 
pnful Courfes of the Times, make a^atnft the fame ; and is 
a /landing Vindication of the bleffed Work of Reformation 
and /acred Covenants witr Cod , and from the federal falfe 
A/per (tons, Calumnies and Reproaches mo ft unjuftly caft u* 
pon the Covenants, by the common Oppofers and Enemies of 
the fame, without Caufe * and is now reprinted for the Be- 
nefit of all tl ofe, who defire to know and retain the Refor- I 
wed, profejfed and fwcrn-to Principles of the fometime fa- 
mous reforming Church of Scotland : And is a publick Tefli* 
mony again ft all tie Injuries done to the holy Covenants, and 
Heffed Work of Reformation, as profejfed and happily efta- 
bl'tfted in tl e /aid Church, from 1 6$ 8 to 1 650, by the Compilers 
with tJ e former and pre/ent Defections : and very ufeful and 
prof table to ht read, obferved and kept by all who take or ad- 
here to the [aid Covenants \ efpecially in this Day of Back* 
Jliding, when Defection and Apoftafy from the fame is come to 
to fuch an Height, that fome malignant Presbyterian Minifters 
and Profeffors, who once appeared very active for fome Points 
of onr Covenanted Reformation Principles, have now turned 
their Back upon them, by doing what in them lies tofv 
And fuppvefs the fame, and bending their Tongues with Lies,rc- 
proacling and calumniating the zealous, orthodox, and ftedfaft 
Owners thereof \ 7 )iJfatisJaclion with and Opposition 

againft the prefent Reformers, and Work of Reformation a- 
•• Hands, is come to fuch a Pit b, tl at, in their Be- 
■ and Bentnefs to Bachfliding, they are even publiqkly 

ing, preaching, writing and printing again ft them ; 
whi "tie, corrupt and bitter Fruit, "and neceffary 

Confeouence of their carrying on, and complying with the pre* 

Defe&ions, Time-fervin? and erroneous Principles, ex- 
prefly condemned by the ftanding AEts and Difciplim of thr* 

anted reformed Church, eien to Depojition. 

The Analyfis, Explication and Appli- 
cation of the Sacred and Solemn 

IN the League or Covenant, we may obferve thefe 
three general Parts, viz* the Exordium, Narrati- 
on and Condufion. 

FIRST, In the Exordium is only fbewed the Oc- 

cafion, moving Caufe, Necefliry, andEnd of the taking 

of this Covenant ; which is (b obvious and perfpicuous 

' to every Eye, that I forbear (for Brevity's Sake) the 

particular Anatomizing and Analyzing thereof. 

SECONDLY, In the Narration, or Narrative 
Fart of this Covenant, are thefe three Generals, to 
wit, the Covenanter*, the Covenanted, and the Cove- 
nant itfelf. 

Firft, The Covenanters, or thofe who take or make 
this Covenant, are all who are cordially and candidly 
affected to the true Reformed Protefiant Religion, in all 
the Three Kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ira- 
land. " 

Secondly, The Covenanted, or he with whom we 
enter into Covenant, is Jehovah, our GOD, the great 
Creator and Preferver of Heaven and Earth. 

"Thirdly, There is the Covenant kfelf, wherein, and 

by the Covenanters oblige and bind themlelves 

foLmnly unto GOD. Now, in this Covenant, are 

fome Things Moral and Politick, and fame Theological 

and Pious. 

FIRST, SomeThings in this Covenant arc Moral and 
Politck, wherein four Things are remarkable, v iz. the 
Matter, Manner, Means and Limits, or £hi*ltficati- 
ons thereof. 

Firfi) The Matter, or Material Heads of the Moral 
A i aad 

4 The Explication 

and Politick Pare ot this Covenant, are thefe, to wit, 

I. Mutually to preferve the Rights and Privileges of the 
Parliament. And, 

II. The Liberties of the Kingdoms. And, 

III. 77- * Prefer vat ion and Defence of the King : 
Wherein thefc Particulars are included, to wir, 

Frfi, Whom muft we endeavour to freferve and 
defend ? The King's Majefty. 

Secondly, What muft we endeavour to prrferve ar.c 
defend in the King \ His Majeiiy's Petjon and Jmtbi 

Thirdly, How muft we endeavour the Prefervation 
of his Per fin and Authority ? /» /fo Preferzation and 
Defence of the rftue Religion, and Liberties of the King- 
doms, that is, cither, 

1. We, by endeavouring the Prefitvatio* and De* 
fence of the true Religion, and Liberties of the King- 
doms, do truly and really endeavour the Prefervatio* 
and Defence of his Majefty's Perfin and Authority > they 
being the bed Friends y and ftrongeft Supporters of his 
Vtrfon and Power , who ftand moft ftourly for rfrut 
Religion, and Liberties of the Kingdoms, the King's 
Tliroue beingeftablifhed by Piety, Equity and Law 

2. We promife to endeavour to preferve his Ma 
jetty's Perfin and Authority, to wir, lb long as he real 
ly endeavours ^he Prefervaricn and Defence of the 
True Religion and Liberties of the Kingdoms. And, 

Fourthly, W'hy, or wherefore do we thus endeavour 
the Preiervation and Defence of the King's Authority 
and Perfon ? To wir, 

i. That the World may bear Witnefs with our 
Confciences, of our Loyalty unto him. And, 

2. Th3t we may make it evident to the World, 
that zve have no Thoughts or Intentions to dimintjb his 
Majefiy's juft Power and Greatnefs. 

IV. Another material Head, or Branch of the pe- 
litick Part of this Covenant, is, to dilcover malevo- 
lent and ill-affected Spirits and Pcrfons; wherein thefe 
three Particulars are involved, c 


<f the Covenant, 5 

Ftrft f Whom muft we difcover ? All fuel as have 
been, or pall be Incendiaries, Malignants, or evil In- 
Itruments of the Church or State. And, 

Secondly, Wherein, or how doth their Malignity 
Uiew itfelf ? viz. 

1 . By hindering the Reformation of Religion^ i. e. by 

grfiftmg, and obftinately continuing in any Schifm, 
rror, Hercfy, old Cuftom or fuperftitious Practice, 

2. By dividing the King frovn his People , i e. by 
drawing him from his Parliament, or detaining (by 
Counfel, Perfwafion, or other wife) his Majefty from 
coming unxo, or complying with his Parliament. 

5. By dividing one of the Kingdoms from another y L e. 
by raifing Afperfions, cafting Scandals, fomenting 
Jealoufies and Differences betwixt them, and the 
like. And, 

4. By making any Fa&ion^ or Parties among ft the Peo- 
•pky contrary to this League and Covenant. And, 

thirdly ', Why muft we difcover thefe and the like 
malignant Perfons ? u That they may be brought to 
41 publick Trial, and receive condign Punifhment, 
€i as the Degree of their Offences mall require or de- 
44 ferve, or the Supreme Judicatories of both King- 
44 doms refpectively, or others having Power from 
44 them for that Effect, fliall judge convenient." 

V. Another material Particular of the Mcral Part of 
this Covenant, is, " That whereas the Bappinefs of a 
41 blefled Peace between thefe Kingdoms, denied in 
44 former Times to out Progenitor^, is by the good 
44 Providence of GOD granted unto us, and hath 
44 been lately concluded, and fettled by both Par- 
44 iiaments; we mail now each one of us, according 
44 to our Place and Intereft, endeavour, that they 
44 may remain conjoined in a firm Peace and Union 
* to all Pofterity." And, 

VI. Another is, To afftft and defend all thefe that enter 
into this League and Covsnant } to the maintaining and 
fwjuing thereof And, 

7. Not 

6 The Explication 

VII. Not to futfer ourfelves to be divided, or with- 
drawn from this bhjfed Union and Conjunction. Now, 
herein thefe four Particulars are unfolded, viz. 

Firft, The impulfive or moving Caufes of this Divi- 
sion and Alienation ; namely, Combinatten, Perfzvajton 
and Terror. And, 

Secondly, The Manner of this Tye or Obligation, 
viz. lie muft neither direftlv, nor indire&ly, Juffer our- 
felves to be disjointed by any iVays or Means whatfocver. 

^Thirdly , When or how we fhow ourfelves to be 
divided and withdrawn from this buffed Union and 
Conjunction , to wit, 

1. When we make DefeBion to the contrary Part. 

2. When *we give ourfelves to a deteftable Indifferency, 
or Neutrality in this Caufe, which fo much concerns the 
Glory of GOD, and Good of the Kingdoms, and Honour 
of the King. And, 

Fourthly, The Means whereby we may better con- 
tinue firm in this League of Unity, without any Alie- 
nation or Faction. Now thefe Means arc, 

1. To continue therein all the Days of our Lives 
Zealoufly and ccnflantly, againft all Opposition. And, 

2. To promote the fame according to our Power, 
againft all Lets and Impediments whatfbever. And, 

3. What we are not able by ourfelves to fupprefs 
or overcome, to reveal and make known, that it may 
he timely prevented or removed. And thus much for the 
Matter ■, or material Heads and Branches of the Moral 
and Politick Part of this Covenant. Now, 

Secondly, The next Thing herein is the, 
how all thefe forenamed Particulars are to be ob: 
ved, or performed; viz. fincerely, really, conftr 
and faithfully^ i. e. without any Falihood, Feigning, 
Diflimulation, Hypocrify, Coklnefs and Inconftancy. 

Th'rih'y The next Thing herein is, the M?ans, 
which we muft ufe for the Performance of this Pare 
of our Covenant^ namely, ferioujly to endeavour with out 


of the Covenant. f 

Vtrfoniy Purfes, Efiates and Lives y to perform what vjt 
have covenanted. And, 

Fourthly, The laft Thing herein is, ^The Limits^ 
Bounds, Cautions, or Qualifications of this Part of the 
Covenant : To wit, ro endeavour the Performance of 
each Claufe, Branch or Particular thereof, according 
to our feveral Vocations, Places and Inrereft, and no 
further. And thus much for the Moral and Politick 
Part of this Covenant, Now, 

SECONDLY, Some Things in this Covenant are 
theological and Vious, wherein five Things are notable 
and worthy of our Obfervation, viz. the Matter^ 
Manner, Means, Limits, and End or Scope. 

I. The Matter, or material Heads of the Pious and 
Religious Part of this Covenant, are thefe five which 
follow, to wit, 

1 . tfhe Reformation of Religion in the Kingdoms of 
England and Ireland, wherein thefe four Things are 
exprcflcd, viz. 

i. What muft we endeavour the Reformation of 9 
Of Religion. And, 

2. Where \ In the Kingdoms of England and Ire- 
land. And, 

5. Wherein? In thefe four Things, viz* 

rirfi, In Doftrine ; Becaufe many Popifli, Arminian, 
Heretical, Schifmatical, and Heterodox Doctrines 
have been broached and printed, and unfound rfenets 
maintained, countenanced, and patronized in thefe 
Kingdoms. And, 

Secondly \ In Wcrftip; Becaufe we were taught to 
worfhip GOD, according to human Inventions, and 
Ordinances of Men, and not according to the Word 
of GOD. And, 

'Thirdly, In D'tfcipUne ; Becaufe many Things there- 
in were fuperftitious, and not many tending either to 
Edification or Decency. And, 

Fourthly, In Government ; Becaufe the Government 
of our Church by Jrchbijhops, Bijtops, De*ns, Arch- 
Deans, &c. was never advantagious to our Churchy 
but rajthcr deftrudive ; as our former fuperftitious 


8 The Explication 

advance r ^ of fcperftirious Priefts, putting down of 
Preac.ang, filencing of Preachers, and the like, do 
evidently confirm: And therefore none need qifftion 
the L galtty of rhe Parliament's abolijhtr.% or them, 
or c.i our "fpfting o[ them herein; this Kind of Go- 
vernment not being Jure Divir.o, but Humar.c y as hath 
been abundantly proved of late ; and cooiequently 
may be taken away by as lawful Authority as it was 
inftitute, to wit, the Parliament of the Kingdom, with 
which the King of England\ Power is, although the 
Per ion of Charles Stewart be abfent, and feparated 
from them. And, 

4. How muft our Religion be reformed ? Namely, 
Firft, According to the Word of GOD. And, 
Secondly, jlccwdmg to the Example of the beft Re- 
formed Churches. 

II. Another material Branch of the theological Part 
of this Covenant, is the Prefervation of the true, and 
truly Reformed Religion of the Church of Scotland ; 
wherein tbefe two Things are included, viz. 

1. Whom, or what we engage ourfelves to preferve, 
viz, Vhe Reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland % 
in DoBrine, W r or(bip, Difcipline and Government. And, 

2. Againft whom do we engage ourfelves to preferve 
it, viz, Againft the common Enemy of Religion, 
namely, the grand Impoftor of Rome, with all his 
Abettors and Adherents: That is, as we defire the Af- 
fiftance of our Brethren of Scotland, againft thofe A- 
theifts, Papifts and Irijb Rebels, who have banded 
themfclves againft us ; fo we covenant and promife, 
That if any of thefe, or the like viperous Brood, mall 
endeavour to overthrow the Reformed Religion in Scot- 
land in DcHrhie, Worjbip, Difcipline and Government^ 
that we will, to the utmoft of our Power and Place, en- 
deavour to preferve it. 

III. Another material Head, or Branch of the Pious 
Part of this Covenant, is, To endeavour to bring the 
Churches of GOD in the Three Kingdoms to the 
ncareft Conjunction and Uniformity in Religion, Con- 


of the Covenant £ 

ftffion of Faith, Form of Church-government, Dirc- 
l&ory for Worfhip and Catechifing. And, 

IV. To endeavour the Extirpation both, ift y Of 
Popery ; And, idly, Of Prelacy , i. e. Church-govern- 
ment by ArchbiJhopSy Bijbops, their Chancellors and 
CommijfarieS) Arch-deacons, Deans, Deans and Chap* 
ters, and all other Ecclefiaftick Officers dependu g on 
that Hierarchy. And, $dly, S.uperfiition. And, $thty t 
Herefy. And, phfy, Schtfm. And, 6thly> Profane- 
tiefs. And, 'jthly, Whatfoever fhall be found to be 
contrary to found DoBrine and the Power of Godlineft. 

V. Another material Head of the Theological Parto{ 
this Covenant is, The Amendment of Life ; wherein 
thefe two Things are obfervablc, viz. 

Ftrjt, The Caufe moving us to this Amendment of 
Life, which is twofold, viz. 

1. The Gonfideration of our Guiltinefs by Realbn 
of our many Sins and Provocations againft GOD, and 
his Son JESUS CHRIST. And, 

2. Our prefent Diftrefles and Dangers, the Fruits of 
that Guiltinefs. And, 

Secondly, The Expreffion of this Amendment of 
Life. Note here, Our Amendment of Life is expre£- 
fed, either by our Aftions or Affetiions, our Deeds or 

FIRST, By our Deeds and A&ions, or Words; 
for we profels and declare, before GOD and the 
World, our unfeigned Defire to be humbled. Now 
here three Things crave our Animadverfion, viz. 

I. For what we muft be humbled? For our own 
Sins, and the Sins of thefe Kingdoms. And, 

II. For what Sins muft we humble ourfelvcs? viz* 
For thefe, namely, 

1. That we have nof, as we ought, valued the in- 
eftimable Benefit of the Gofpel. And, 

2. That we have not laboured for the Purity and 
•Power thereof. And, 

3 % That we have not endeavoured to receive Cbrift 
B ' IP 

\o The Explication 

in our Hearts, nor to walk worthy of him in our 
Lives. And, 

III. Why mud we humble ourfelves for thefe 
Things? Bccaufe they are Guiles of our other Sins 
and Tranigrefiions, fo much abounding among us. 

SECONDLY, Our Amendment of Life is expref- 
fed by our Affe8ions y and true and unfeigned Pur- 
pofes and Defires, which refpedt both to ourlelves and 
others ; wherein three Things are confiderable, to wit, 

Firft) The Matter of this Purpofe and DeGrc ; 

I. " To amend our Lives. And, 

II. " Each one of us to go before other, in the 
fi Example of a real Reformation. "" And y 

Secondly ) The Extent of this Purpofe and Defire, to 

I. " It muft be both in publick and private. And y 

II. " In all Duties we owe to GOD and Man " 
And % 

thirdly ^ The Scope, or End of this Purpofe and 
Defire of Amendment ; which is, 

I. " That the LORD may turn away his Wrath 
11 and heavy Indignation from us. And* 

II. 1C That he may eftablifli thefe Churches and 
Kingdoms in Truth and Peace. " And thus much for 
the Matter of the theological Part of this Covenant 

Secondly^ The next Thing in this Part is the Man- 
mat thereof, to wit, That every Branch, Claufe, Pari, 
and Particle of this Covenant, be performed and ob- 
fcryed fincerely y really ', faithfully and conftantly. And, 

tttrdly, Next in Order follow the Means % where- 
by we may be enabled to perform what we have pro 
mifed ; which are, 

I. An earnctt Endeavour, to the utmoft of our A- 
bility, to pay our Vows, and perform all our Promifei 
unto GOD. And, 

II. The Grace of GOD enabling us in fomc Mca 
fure thereunto. Aiid, 

of the Covenant. 11 

Fourthly^ Another Thing in this Theological Part of 
our Covenant is the Limits or Qualifications thereof 
viz. We muft endeavour to obferve every Branch of 
this Covenant, according to our leveral Places, Voca* 
tions and Interefts. And, 

Fifthly , The laft Thing in this Part is the Scope 
or End of it, which is fourfold ; to wit, 

I. " That all we in all thefe three Kingdoms of 
u Scotland^ England and Ireland, and our Pofterity af- 
u ter us, may as Brethren live in Faith and Love. 
" And % 

II. " That tbe LORD may delight to dwell among 
" us. And, 

III. " That the LORD may be One, and his 

fC Name One in all the three Kingdoms. And> 

IV. " That we may not partake in other Mens 
€i Sins, and thereby be in Danger to receive of their 
€C Plagues. " And thus much for the fecond general 
Part of this Covenant, viz. the Narration. Now, 

THIRDLY, The laft general Part is the Peroral 
tion or Conclufion, wherein are thefe four particular 
Branches, to wit, an Attefiation, Prcteftation, Appeal 
and Supplication. 

Firft, In the Atteftation, or calling GOD to wit- 
nefs, we acknowledge three Things, viz. 

I. That God is prefent with as, at the taking of this 
Covenant or Oath. And, 

II. That he, who is prefent, is Almighty, to wit, 
both to reward us, if we perform what we promife ; 
and to punifh us, if we be Covenant-breakers, or fal- 
sify our Oath unto GOD. And, 

HI. That as he is infinite in Power, (b he is infinite 
in Knowledge ; the very Thoughts, Purpofes and In- 
tentions of our Hearts being known unto him. And 
this is laid down in thefe Words, And this Vow and 
Covenant I make in the Prefence of Almighty GO D $ 
the Searcher of all Hearts. 

Secondly, In the Proteftation, We promifc in the 
Prefence of Almighty GOD, thefe two Things, to 
wir f 

B; I. Ta 

ft 7he Explication 

I. To perform all the Contents of this Oath, and 
this is the Matter of the Proteftation. And, 

II. To perform it with a fall and true Intention of 
Heart; and this is the Manner of the Proteftation : 
Both which are laid down in thefe Words, And this 
Vow and Covenant I make with a true Intention to per* 
form the fame. 

Thirdly, The Appeal is contained in thefe V\ ord% 
(this I prom if e to perform , as I Jball anjwer at the Great 
Day, when the Secrets of all Hearts jball be difchfed ; 
Wherein are thefe five Things, to wit, 

I. A Belief, That there fhall be a Day of Judg- 
ment And, 

JI. That at that Day all fhall be judged. And, 

III. That at that Day all Secrets and fecret Things 
(that is, all fecret Actions, Intentions, Purpofes and 
Defires) fhall be difcovered, difclofed, laid open and 
tnanifefted. And, 

IV. A Belief, That we fhall moft juftly and im- 
partially at that Day be judged by the moft juft 
Judge v according to thofe Actions, Intentions, Puiv 
poles and Defires which are then difcovered, and ma- 
nifefted to have been in us. And, 

V. A fecret and implicite Imprecation, li GOD do 
" fo to me, and more alfo at that Day ; or, I defirc 
<c that I may find neither Mercy nor Favour at the 
" Hands of my All-feeing, Ail-knowing Judge, at 
" the great and dreadful Day of Judgment, if I do 
" not now faithfully and fully purpofe, and fhall 
<c hereafcer firmly and unfeigned ly endeavour to per- 
u form to the utmoft of my Power, whetfoever is 
li contained in this Oath or Covenant. " Now, 

Fourthly, In the Supplication thefe three Things are 

I. The Petitioners, namely, we who make this Co* 
venant. And, 

II. The Petitioned, to wit, the LORD. And, 

III. The Petition, which confifts of thefe two 
Branches, viz 

{ Fnfi, That the LORD would Co ftrcngthen us by 


of the Covenant. 13 

Jiis Holy Spirit, that we may be enabled to perform 
vhatfoever we have vowed or promifed in this Cove- 

Secondly, " That the LORD would blefs our De- 
*' fires and Proceedings with luch good Succefi, as 
" may be Defiverance and Safety to his People, and 
11 Encouragement to other Chriftian Churches groning 
u under, or in Danger of the Yoke of Antichriftian 
<c Tyranny, to join in the fame, or like Aflbciation 
u and Covenant, to the Glory of God, the Enlarge- 
M ment of the Kingdom of JESUS CHRIST, and 
* l the Peace and Tranquillity of Chriftian Kingdoms 
f* and Common- wealths." 

-An ANALYSIS; Or, A brief Opening 

and Explanation of the SOLEMN 


REFORMATION and Defence of 

Religion, &c. 

THIS Covenant hath a Preface, Six Articles^ and 
a Conclupon. 
FIRST, In the Preface we have the Perfons, Ends, 
Motives, &c. 

1. The Perfons Covenanting, viz.. Men of all Ranks 
and Qualities in all the Three Kingdoms of England^ 
Scotland and Ireland, 

2. The Ends aimed at by this Covenant are Three, 
viz. 1. The Glory of God. 2. The Honour and Hap- 
pinefs of the King and his Pofterity. 3. The true 
publick Liberty, Safety and Peace of the three King- 
doms. Wherein every One's private Condition 

i* included. 

g. The Motives t Occafions and Inducements, lea- 
ding on to this Covenant, are Six; 1. Our living un- 
der one King, 2. Our being of one reformed Reli- 
gion. 3* Our remembring the manifold Woody Plots 


1 4 The Explanation 

of the Enemies of God againft the true Religion, and 
the Profeflbrs thereof, everywhere, viz. In France, 
Germany , the Low Countries ; and efpecially in the pre- 
fent Infurre&ion of Ireland, the Diftrefs of England, 
and Dangers of Scotland. 4, Oar not prevailing by 
Supplications, Rcmonftrances, Proteftations and Suf- 
ferings. 5. The commendable Prafiice of thefe King- 
doms in former Times, efpecially Anno 1 587, between 
K. James and Qj Elifabeth againft the Spanijb Arma- 
da. 6. The Example of God's People in other Na- 
tions, as in France , the Low Countries , &c. 

Upon all thefe the Preface declares, That we refblvp 
to enter into the league and Covenant, and to fub- 
fcribc and fwear it with our Hands lifted up to the 
moft high God : Which is a moft reverend Sign and 
Expremon of a folemn Calling pn the Name of God, 
as Abraham did, Gen. 14. 22. And we have good 
Reafon to do fo to our God, who hath lifted up his 
Hand to us, and for us, to do us Good, Ezek. 20. 5, 6. 

SECONDLY, The Articles of the Covenant arc 
cither for Reformation in the two Fir ft, or for Rights 
in the next Two, or for Peace in the lajl Tu'0. Every 
one of thefc are fir ft Pcjitively, for thefe Thingi 
forefaid; and then Vrivativelj, or againft the Oppo 
icrs thereof. 

In all thefe Articles we take GOD to Witnefs, 

i. Of the Manner. 2. Of the Matter. 

The Manner of our Undertaking is, 1. Sincerely, 
and not in Hypocrify. 2. Really, and not verbally, 
or in Profeffion only. 3. Conftantly^ and not for a 
Time only. 4. Trufting in GOD's Grace, and not in 
our own Strength. 5. To do according to, and in 
our feveral Places and Callings, and not beyond our 
Power, Place, or Calling. 

The Matter of the lft Article, which we under- 
take, is, 

ifi, To endeavour to pre/erV4 the Reformed ReUgieA j 
in the Kirk of Scotland. 1. In DoHnne, it is all Or J j 
nhoUox. 2. In Worfbip, it is pure and unmixed. 5 
In pifctylwt and Govetnmtnt % againft our comrrn 

of the Covenant. x 5 

Enemies ; for it is warrantable, and nowift tyran- 

zdly, To endeavour the Reformation of Religion in 
England and Ireland, in all thefe Particulars of Zk- 
ftrine, fPorJbip, Difcrpline and Government^ according U 
GOD's Iford (as the only Rule) and the Example of 
the beft Reformed Churches, as the moft laudiblc and 
convenient Copies according to that Rule. 

^dly % To endeavour in Manner above-faid to bring 
the Churches of God in all the three Kingdoms U the nea- 
refi ConjurtBion and Uniformity , In, I. Religion. 2. 
Profejfton of Faith. 3. Form of Church* government. 
4. DireQoryforJfrorJbrp. 5 AndCatecbtfng. 

The End of all which is, 1. That Vie and ourPofte- 
rity may live in Faiit) and Love as Brethren. And, a, 
That the Lord may delight to dwell in the Msdjt of use 
And fo to avoid the devilifli Divifions which Prelacy 
and Ceremonies raifed amongft us, as a Partition- walL 
Therefore confider, tbat we undertake this Covenant 
for our Children, as well as ourfclves; feeing it is, Tbat 
our Pofierity may live as Brethren : And fo we muft be 
careful to inftruft them herein, and to caufe them to 
make Conference thereof; which our zealous Exam- 
ple and Practice will beft bear in upon them. And 
without fuch diligent Inftru&ion of our Children 
and good Example given by us to them, GOD may 
juftly plague us, and let them forget and fall from 
this Covenant ; and the Judgments of God will fall 
on the Pofterity, as on Ifrael, for K. Saul's breaking 
of the Oath to the Gibeonites, 2 Sam. 21. 1. 

II. In the zd Article, We declare againft the oppo- 
lite Courfes to Reformation, Tbat we Jball in like the 
Manner, that is to fay, fincerely^ really > constantly \ thro 
Go(Cs Grace ; and according to our Places and Callings ; 
and further, without RefpiB of Perfons $ endeavour the 
Extirpation of 1. Popery. %. Prelacy (that is, Church- 
government by, (1.) Archbifhops. (2.) Bifhops. ( 3.) 
Deans. (4.) Deans and Chapters. (5.) Chancellors. 
(6.) Commiflaries. (V) Arch-deacons, and all other 
Ecclefiafticftl Officers depending on that Hierarchy. 

1 6 The Explanation 

5. Superfition, as Croffings, Holy-days, £* 

4. Herefy, as Arminianifm, Anabaprifm, c 

5. Scbifm, as Separation from lawful and wcll-con- 
flitute Churches. 

6. Profanity of all Serts, as Drunkennefs, Swearing, 

7. iVbatfoever is found contrary to found Doclrine, 
and the Power of Godlinefs. 

The Ends which we have before us, in this Article, 

1. To beware *Ibat we partake not mother Mcni 
Sins, and Plagues. 

2. That the Lord maybe One, and bis Name One, in 
the three Kingdoms. * 

III. In the third Article, We undertake in manner 
forefaid, and with our Efiates ana Lives, mutually to 
preferve and defend, 

I. Vbe Rights and Privilege of Parliament. 
a. ^tbe Liberties of the Kingdoms. 

3. *The King's Majefiy's Per/on and Authority, in the 
Preservation and Defence of the true Religion, and Liber- 
ties of the Kingdoms. 

The End aimed at herein is, That the iVorld and 
our Confciences may bear Witnefs of our Loyalty ; and 
that we have no Intentions to diminijb his Majefiy's jufi 
Power and Greatnefs. 

IV. In the Fourth Article, 

lfi, We undertake againft the Enemies of true Re- 
ligion, the King, the Parliament, and Peoples Rights; 
and to Endeavour to dijtover all of them. Namely, 

(1.) Such as hinder the Reformation of Religion, as 
all Papifts and Prelatifts do. 

(2.) Such as divide between the King andiois Subje&s, 
as all Flatterers, and politick Incendiaries. 

(3) Thefe who divide one of the Kingdoms from an- 

(4.) Thefe who make Faolions and Parties among 
the People, contrary to this League and Covenant. 

idly % To eadcaYOUr, that they he brought to publick 


of the Covenant. \j 

And, %dly y That they Receive condign Tunj/bment 9 
is the Degree of the Offences ihall require or deferve ; 
[>r, as the fupreme Judicatories of both Kingdoms (or 
rthers having Power from ihem) fb all judge convenient* 

V. In the Fifth Article, We promife to Endeavour 
\bat tbefe Kingdoms may remain cor join d in a firm 
Peace and Union , to all Posterity; as is concluded by 
both Parliaments. And, That Jufi ice be done upon the 
wilful Oppofers thereof, as in the former Article. Thefc 
rhings we are to endeavour, according to out f laces 
%nd Interefis. 

VI. In the Sixth Article, We undertake, 

1. To Affift and Defend (in this common Caufe of 
Religion, Liberties and Peace of the Kingdoms) all 
hofe that enter into this League and Covenant , in the 
maintaining and purfuing thereof, 

2. Not to fuffer ourf elves to be withdrawn from this 
tlejfed Union^ neither direBly (againft the Covenant) nor 
nHireblly (upon other Quarrels) to weaken them who 
nainrain the Covenant; neither by any Combination^ 
^erfwafion nor Terror. 

5. Not to make DefeSion to the contrary Party , nor to 
five ourfelves to a detefiable Neutrality in this Caufe y whicB 
b much concerns j I . The Glory of God. 2. The Good of 
be Kingdoms. 3. The Honour of the King. 

4. That we /ball Zeafoujly and confiantly continue 
herein, againft all Oppofires. 

And, 5. Promote the fame againft all Impediments, 
iccording to our Power, all the Days of our Lives. 

6. That, what we cannot fupprefs or overcome ourfelves, 
ve Jball reveal and make known, that it may be timely \ 

All this we promife to do as in the Sight of God. 
THIRDLY, In the Conclufion there is, 

1 . A ConfeJJlon of many Sins againft God and hit 
5on Chrift Jefus (evident in the Fruits thereof, o/'t. 
Mirprefent DiftrefTes and Dangers.) 

2. A Prefejpon of Defirc to be humbled, 1. For our 
jwn Sins. 2. For the Sins of theft Kingdoms. More 
particularly for that, (1.) We have not valued the Gofpel 

C (1.) Ni* 

18 7'be Explanation i Sec. 

(2.) Nor laboured for the Power and Purity tlerecf. (3.] 
Nor endeavoured to receive Cbrifl in our Hearts. (4.) Not 
to Walk worthy of Him in our Lives, as we ought to havei* 
done ; which are the Caufe of all ether Sim among ft us. I™ 

a A Purpofe, Dejireznd Endeavour, avowed and pro- 
miled, for ourfelves, and all others under our Power 
and Charge, both in Publick and Private, in all Duties 
to God and Man ; To amend cur Lives y aid each one to 
go before another in the Example of a real Reformation 

4. The Ends aimed at in all thefe are, 1. That thel 
Lord may turn away his Wrath. 2. That he m3y e-l 
ftablifh thefe Churches in Truth and Peace. 

5. The folemn taking of this Covenant is exprefled 
in that, I. We male It in thePrefence of ALMIGHTY" 
GOD. 2. With exprefs Remembrance, That he is the 
Searcher of all Hearts. 3. With Profeflion of a true 
Intention to perform the fame. 4. With an Appeal to 
the fame GOD in the great Day, faying, As we flail 
anfwer to GOD, in the Day when the Secrets of all 
Hearts Jball be laid open. 

6. All is clos'd with a Prayer to God (without whofc 
Help we can do nothing) 1. To be ftrengthned by his 
Spirit for this End. 2. That he would blefs our Defires 
And Proceedings with fuch Succefs as may be, (1.) Deli- 
verance and Safety to his Pecple. (2.) Encouragement to 
ether Chrif\an Churches, groning under, or in Danger of 9 
the Toke of Antichriftian tyranny, to join in the fame or 
like AJfociation and Covenant. 

And the great Ends look'd to and defired herein, 
are, I. The Glory of GOD. 2. The Enlargement of the 
Kingdom of JESUS CHRIST. 3. The Peace and 
Tranquillity of Chriftian Kingdoms and Commonwealths. 


^he perpetual Obligation of our Owe* 
wants National and Solemn League* 
aflerted, vindicated, and proven from 
the Scriptures, by the Angular and 
worthy Mr. Alexander Shields. 

rHEIR binding Force is clear, if we confider, 
ifi y Their Form, or Formahs Ratio (i.e. for- 
mal Reafon) their Nature and Eflence; and 
lat either in refpect of feveral fbrts of Ties included 
1 them, or, in the next Place, The Qualifications of 
lefe Ties. For the firfi, They are Oaths wherein 
rod is invocated as a Witnefs of our Sincerity, and a 
vift Witnefs againft us if we break. See the Third 
lommand for this, Lev. 6. 3. and 19. 12. Numb. 30. 2 # 
fal. 15. 4. So that the Debt is God's, £>>uia religio ju- 
imenti pertinet ad forum div'wum> that is, For the Re- 
gion of an Oath belongs to the Court of God. idly* 
"hey are Promifes, or promiffory Oaths, whereby 
re exprefs our Purpofe and Refolution as to important 
)uties, both to God and Man (invocating him as a 
Vitnefs of our Sincerity) in relation to the firft and 
*cond Table ; and Promifes (of this Nature efpecial- 
y) are (trong Bonds : The very Heathens made Con- 
cience of Promifes. 3^/y, They are Vows unco God, 
hat is, they are Promifes made to God, in the Things 
if God, fuch as publick perfonal Reformation. God 
n them is not only invocated as a Witnefs, but is the 
proper Party, or Correlate : And it is a fearful Thing 
o fall into his E-fands. For Commands to perform, and 
Vows, Ice Numb. 30. 2. 1 Sam. 1. 21. Vfal. 76. ii. 
Ecci 5 4, 5. 4/fc/y, They are Covenants,and that both 
with God and Man. We have engaged to God (in 
rhefe Vows) fpealdng to us in his Word from Hea- 
pen, ft National Reformation.- — There is like- 

wife a mutual Stipulation between the Nations, and 
with one another, touching important Duties of the 
lecond Table, in relation to their mutual Rights. For 
C 1 the 

ao r J Vindication 

the Weight of fuch Engagements, fee Ezek. 17. *jfojb. 
9. i8> 19. Mr*. 9. 38. y^ r *54- ^ — S° that in thefc 
facred Bonds there is the Tie of an Oath, from the 
Reverence we owe to God ; the Obligation of a 
Vow, from the Homage and Fealty wc owe to him ; 
the brrength of a Promife both to God and Man, from 
the Influence both of Truth and Righteoufnefs : All 
concurring to render them inviolable. Bur, 

SECONDLY, Their binding Force will appear, if 
we confider their Qualifications ; as, ij?, They were 
folcranly taken on. *Tis a Maxim, That the Obliga- 
tion grows with the Solemnity of the Engagement; 
and the Scripture aggravateth the Breach from 
the Solemnity : Such as the cutting the Calf in twain. 
Zedekiah giving the Hand, ©V. For it imports Delibe- 
ration and Refolution in the Engagers. Thele Oaths 
were taken by folcmn Affemblies and Parliaments, af- 
ter Conference, Prayer and Fafting. idly^ They are 
holy and moft weighty Engagements, in the great Con- 
cerns of God's Glory, and our own Salvation. $dfy f 
They are large and extenfive, including Duties in the 
whole Word of God, all Duties we arc tied unto in 
his holy Law. 4*£//, They are univerfal ; Rcprefenta- 
tives and Members of Church and State were given up 
in them, ftbfy, They are perpetual and real ; as that 
between David and Jonathan, zSam 9. 7, 21. and that 
between Jcjbua and the Giheonites y J0&.9. 18, 19. and 
that Covenant, Dent, 29. 14, 15. 

THIRDLY, Their binding Force appears, if we 
confider in the next Place their Matter and Objeft, as, 
I ft, The immediate and formal Object is the Word oi 
God, and the Truths and Duties therein-contained ; 
and whatever is contrary to found Dodtrine and the 
Power of Godlinefi (under the formal Realbn) is here 
abjured. zdh y The more remote, or more marerial 
Ofrje&s, are the publick, neceilary and great impor- 
tant Truths and Duties therein-enumerated, both of 
the firft and iecond Table ; and the Errors and Sins 
therein-abjured. So that this Oath has an objective as 
well as fubjeftive Neceflity contained therein : A Nc- 
ceflity of the MatterJ in its own Nature prior to the 

cf the Covenants* a 

ingagement ; as well as a Neceflity of Performance 
owing from the Engagement itfelf, which may take 
'lace in Things indifferent. 

FINALLY, The conftantly obliging Ends and 
cope of them, joined with the Importance of the Mat- 
:r fubfervient to thcfe Ends, further difcover their 
twiolable Obligation. There is here both Necefitas 
rtcepti, Medii &* Finis: So it cannot be objected, 
bat thefe Oaths are but temporary ; for the Mainte- 
ance of them runs alongft in all the fore-mentioned 
Particulars. And, (i.) It falls under the Obligation 
f the Oath, Vow, Promife and Covenant ; and under 
he fore- mentioned Qualifications of Solemnity, Uni- 
erfality and Importance. Again, (2.) The publick 
r aith of Church and State reaches this mcfl evident- 
y> and is engaged for it. (5.) The Things engaged 
nto, are rnoft exprefly holden out in his Word. For 
cripture-Proofs, fee Deut. 29th, where thefe who 
/ere not there, as well as thofe thar were there, Young 
nd Old, Wives and little Ones, from the Hewer of 
ftcod to the Drawer of Wa:er. National Compact 
lo oblige all the Nation, altho* not perfonally fworn 
mro by every Individual. None will fay, that no 
>ubjeft oweth Fealty and Allegiance to the King, but 
uch as have perfonally fworn the Oath of Allegiance : 
"or, if fo, a Man could no: be guilty of Treafon 
which is certainly a Breach of that Fealty) unlefs he 
lad perfonally fworn, Quod nemo unquam dixtrit % i. c. 
Which no Body will lay. Further, in that 29th 
Chapter ir is told, that it belongs to their Seed for 
?ver: And, Deut. 5. 2, 5. Adofa tells the People em- 
phatically, That God made the Covenant with them 
yho were then alive, even that Covenant at Hereby tho* 
hey were all dead with whom it was made: And, 
Nek. 9. 3S. all entred into Covenant, but fome only 
Pealed it; as is clear, Chap. ic. And, was not that 
Oath of Jofeph's Brethren, ancnr the carrying up of 
his Bones from Efypt to Canaan y and their Oath to 
the Gibeonites, fuch as did reach their Poftcrity ? Alfo 
(hat Oa:h between David and Yonatltn, 2. Sam. 9. 7. 


22 A Vindication 

Now, that the Nature of their Oaths is fuch, cannot 
be doubted, they being Matters of perpetual and e- 
verlafting Importance, which no Time can alter, eva- 
cuate or limit, and having the publick Faith of Church 
and State interpofed in them, by a Vow and Covenant 
with God and Man, over and above the Oath : And 
likewile in its Nature promiflbry, in relation to Du- 
ties, Midfes or Ends, perpetually neceiTary and obli- 
ging; It is palpably evident that ir is real, and not 
peribnal only. 

ObjcHicn. M But that Expreflion, Every one of us 
<c for curfelves, feems to exclude the Pofterity, and 
u makes if only perfonai.* f Anfnver. That cannot be ; 
for the End and Motive of the Oath, before this, is 
expreffed to be the Glory of God, the Advancement 
of Chrift's Kingdom, the Happinefs of the King and 
his Pofterity, the true publick Liberty, Safety of the 
Kingdom, &V. wherein every One's private Eftate is 
included, which of NecefTuy includes the Pofterity, 
and defigns the Obligation for them. Further, in 
the Clole of the firft Article, the Pofterity is exprcfly 
taken in, when the End and Defign of the Matter 
therein-contained are faid to be, that we, and our Po- 
fterity after us, may live in Faith and Love, &c 

And, in the Clofe of the Fifth Article we engage to 
endeavour that the Kingdoms may remain conjoined 
in a firm Peace and Union :o all Pofterity : Therefore 
this negative Inference, fcr ourfefoes, and Co ret for 
oav Pofterity f is oppofite unto, the very Senfe, bcoyc 
and Words of the Oath : 80 that this Qaule ij. clearly 
(relative) referable unto the various Capacities, Con- 
ditions and Relatio! rein, in order to the Work 
of God, the then Engagers flood. 

See alfo what he feys, Hind let Joofe, from 
Page 500 to Page 507, which is as follows, 
LET it he confide red, that all thofe Oarhs and 
Bonds that the Land hath been c [hefe 

27 Years, are all condemned hy, and contradictory ro 
anterior binding Order j } ihe Atts of the Geneial Al- 
ien ll 

of the Covenants. 23 

cmblies, requiring no Oaths in the common Caufe 
o be taken without the Church's Confent ; as was 
rleared in the hiftorical Part upon the fifth Period, 
?age 82d: And that efpecially they are condemned, 
is being contradiftory to, and violatory of, prior Oaths 
)f continuing indifpenfible Obligation; being de- 
(igned, preffed and impofed, on Purpofe to delete the 
'ame out of the Minds and Memories of the prefenc 
feneration : I mean the National and Solemn League 
ind Covenants, and other former nationally binding 
publick Engagements, which, becaufe they are not 
anly broken and burnt, but declared criminal to be 
owned, and becaufe the owning of their Obligation is 
ordinarily inferted in the Indictments of our Martyrs, 
[ muft touch upon them more particularly. It was 
cleared above, Head iff, Argument nth (for which 
fee Hind let Ioofe, Page 264, 265 and 166) from the 
Form, the Objedt, and from the Ends of the Cove- 
nant, which are all moral and of indifpenfible Obli- 
gation, that it is of perpetual and unalterably binding 
Force, obliging the prefent and all future Generations, 
as well as that which did firft come under the Bond 
of it : And, to conform this, I fhall add more parti- 
cularly thele many Confiderations. 

I. The National Engagements are National Pro* 
tnifesj plighting and pledging the Nation's publick 
Faith, for the Prefervation and Propagation of Reli- 
gion and Liberty to fuCteeding Pofterity ; which, if 
fucceedihg Generations may reverfe, then the Faith 
of Men, and the Faith of Nations, can be of no Force 
above a Century of Years, nay, nor after the Deceafc 
of them that perfonally made the Promife : And fo 
every new Ruler, every new Parliament, yea, every 
Perfon coming up to fucceed the Father in any Capa- 
city, might be free not to ftand to it; which were 
very akfurd. Certainly that Promife of the Jewijb 
Nobles and Rulers, not to exaft Ufury of their Bre- 
thren, but to reftore and not require it of them, did 
not only oblige thcmfelves, but would bring their Po- 
fterity under the Curfe, if they fhould exa& the fame 
Debt there remitted, Nek 5. 12, 13. And docs not 

24 4 Vindication 

a National Promife of preferving the Reformation, 
bind as much to the Curie of the Breach of it ? 

II. They are National Vows, avowing and avou- 
ching and devoting rhemfclvcs and their Poft riry to 
be the Lord's People, and to keep his Statures and 
promove his Interefts; which do bind the Poftcrity. 
Jacob's Vow at Bethel, that the Lord fhould be his 
God, GVu. 28. II. did oblige all hisPofterity, virtual- 
ly comprehended in him ; He found him in Bethel, 
and there be /pake with c7j,faith the Prophet many hun- 
dred Years after, Hof. 1 2. 4. The Israelites Vow to 
deftroy the Canaanites, did oblige all their Pctterity, 
Numbl 21. 2. not only by vertue of the Lord's Com- 
mand, but by vertue of their Vow ; as we are obli- 
ged to prelerve the Reformation, not only by vertue 
of the Lord's Command, but by vertue of our Co- 
venants. Vows are Bonds to the Soul, which muft (land, 
Numb. 20. 2, 4. And whereas it is faid, That as a 
Woman's Father or Husband might difannul her 
Vow, and fo the Magiftrate might abrogate the Co- 
venant ; Befides the Impertinency of this Companion, 
as might be eafy to demonftrate, it may be refelled 
by giving, and not granting, that he might do fo : Yer, 
if the Father and Husband fhall bold their Peace, then 
all her Vows (hall ftand, and her Bonds wherewith 
Hie bound her Soul fhall ftand, Ver. 4. 7. But fo ic 
was, that the fupreme Magiftrate did give hisConfent 
to the National Covenant, and the Succeflbrdid fwear 
the Solemn League and Covenant, and received the 
Crown on the Terms thereof, to prelerve and pro- 
mote Religion and Liberty : And therefore her Vows 
mud ftand, they cannot be made void afterwards ; for 
it is a Snare to devour that which is holy, and after 
Vcws to make Enquiry, Prov. 20. 25. So we find the 
Recbat.ttes were obliged to obferve the Vow of their 
Forefather Jonadab, Jer. 55, 6, 14. And, if the Fa- 
ther's Vow obliges the Children, fhall not the Nation's 
Vow oblige tl • 1 

III. Tnev arc National Oaths, which do oblige 
Poftcrity: Efaus-Qxh to Jacob % refigning his Birth- 
right, did oblige his Pofterity never to recover ir* 


of the Covenants. 5| 

ten. 25. 5 j. Jofepb took an Oath of the Children of 
r frael, to carry up his Bones to Canaan, Gen. 50. 25. 
vhich the Pofterity going forth of Egypt in After- ages 
imnd thcmfelves ftraitly fworn to obferve, Exod.i$, 
Up. and accordingly buried them in Sbecbem, Jopua 
14. 32. The Spies fwore to preferve Kabab alive and 
ler Houfe, Jcfbua 2. 12, &*c. which was wichour the 
^onfent of the Magiftrate, and yet Jofiua found him- 
elf obliged to obferve it, Jcfbua 6. 22. Mofes fwore 
into Caleb to infure him an Inheritance, Jcfbua 14. 9. 
tnd, upon this Ground, he demands it as his Right, 
Per. 1 2. which he could not do, if Succeflbrs might 
everfe their Predeceflbrs lawful Oaths, The Lord 
vill in a fpecial Manner relent and revenge the Po- 
lerity's Breach of the Oath of their Father's Cove- 
nant, Ezek. 16. 59. Thus faith the Lord God, I will 
ven deal with tbee as tbou baft done, which bafi defpifed 
be Oath in breaking the Covenant, which was the Co- 
r cnant of their Fathers. 

IV. They are National Covenants, wherein King, 
'arliament and People do covenant with each other, 
or the Performance of the refpe&ive Duties of tteir 
:veral Stations, either as to the Work of Reforma- 
ion, or as to the Prefervation of each other's mu- 
aal Rights and Privileges: So that they are National 
lovenants, made by Men with Men ; ana thefe we find 
o oblige the Pofterity. Ifraefs Covenant with the 
hbeonites did oblige the Pofterity, Jojbua 9. 15, 19. 
nd, for the Breach of it many Ages after, the Pofte- 
ity was plagued, zSam. 2i«i. Zedekiab was bound 
y his Predeccflor's Covenant ; tho* it was fuch as 
lade the Kingdom bate, yet, in keeping it, it was 
nly to fiand • Shall be break the Covenant and be de- 
vered ? Thus faith the Lord, As I live, furely mine 
)atb that be bath defpifed, and my Covenant that be 
atb broken, even it will I recompenfe upon his own Heady 
Lzek. 17. 12, 14, 15, 19. The Apoftle faith even o£ 
uman Covenants, though it be but a Mans Covenant^ 
it, if it be confirmed^ no Man difannulleth or addetb 
hereunto, Gal. 3. 15. that is, cannot do fo lawfully; 
Rich left can one Man difannul a Nation's Covenant. 
D They 

56 A Vindication 

They arc National Attentions of God as a Wifi 
nefs for the Perpetuity as well as Fidelity of thefe 
lacred Engagements. All fuch Covenants, wherein 
rhe holy Name of God is invocared as Witnefs, arc 
owned of God as his : Hence the Covenant betwixt 
David and Jonathan is called the Covenant of the 
Lord, I Sam. 20. 8. And Zedekiah % % Fault was the 
Breach of the Lord's Covenant, Ezek. 17. forecitcd. 
So like wife, that Covenant mentioned Jer. 34. 8, 9. 
10. wherein the Princes and People did fwear to let 
their Hebrew Servants go free, is called God's Cove- 
nant, Ver. 18. And, upon this account, ibrer Judg- 
ments are threatned, Ver. 19, 20. And I will give the 
Men that have tran/greffed my Covenant , which have 
not performed the Words of the Covenant which they had 
made before me> — into the Hands of their Enemies. 
Certainly this did oblige the Pofterity, at leaft not to 
recal thefe Servants, and it was always morally o» 
biiging. So our National Covenant, fworn with 
tiands lifted up to the moft high God, being materi- 
ally alfo binding, cannot be abrogated by the Pofterity, 
except the Lord renounce his Intereft in them. As 
long as the Witnefs liveth then, who claims them as 
his, they cannot be made void : Efpecially confidering, 

VI. They are National Covenants made with God 
as the other Party contracting, in the Matters of God, 
which none can difpenfe with, or grant Remifliong 
in; and therefore they muft perperually bind until he 
Joofe them. And if even the Pofterity break them, 
the Lord will make them that hate them to reign o- 
ver them, and he will bring a Sword upon them to 
avenge the Quarrel of his Covenant, Lev. 26. 15, 17, 
25. Such were all the National Covenants of the 
Lord's People renewed by Jojhua y Jfx^ Jehopaphat 3 
Henekiahy Jofiab, Ezra t Nebemiab, for the Breaches 
of which the Lord plagued the Pofterity I It was for 
Breach of their Father's Covenant with God, that the 
Ten Tribes were carried away Captive, 2 Kings 17. 
I 5, &V. We have already experienced the threatned 
Judgments for Covenant-breaking, and may look foe 


of the Covenants; 17 

VII. They arc for their Matter National Cove- 
nants about Things moral Obje&ively, obliging to 
join our/elves to the Lord in a perpetual Covenant that 
pall never to be forgotten , Jer. 50. J. I might eafily 
demonftrate all the Articles of the Covenant to be 
morally obliging ; but they are demonftrate fufficient- 
Jy above, Head I. Argument II. (for which fee 
Hind let loofe, Pag. 224, 225, 226".) therefore they are 
perpetually binding. 

VIII. They are for their Ends National Covenants 
inviolably obliging, which cannot be made void* 
though they fliould be broken, becaufe the Ends of 
rhem are always to be purfued ; as is proved above, 
Head I. of the forecited Book, from Pag. 220 to 
168 ; therefore they are perpetual. 

IX. They are for their Formality National Cove- 
nants, moft folemnly fworn and fubferibed by all 
Ranks with uplifted Hands, with bended Knees, with 
folemn invocating the Name of God, with folemn 
Preaching, Prayer and Praife, rendring themfelves 
and the Pofterity obnoxious to the Curje if they fhould 
break it. Now, the Solemnities of the Oath do ag- 
gravate the Hainoufnefs of the Breach of it, as is 
:lear from Jer. 54. 19. Ezek. 17. 18. quoted above, 
rhc Reafbn is y Becaufe of their greater Deliberation 
n the Adtion, and becaufe of the greater Scandal 
accompanying the Violation thereof. Hence, as they 
»re National Oaths and Covenants fo fblemnized,they 
ire National Adjurations under the Pain of a Natio- 
lal Curfe not to break them Nationally, which do 
nake the Pofterity obnoxious to it; as Jojbua adju- 
ing Ifrael y faying, Curfed be the Man that rifetb up and 
mildetbtbis City Jericho, Jofb. 6. 16. which was ful- 
illed many Generations after, in the Days of Abab % 
ipon Hiel the Betbelite y 1 Kings 16. ult. So the Curfe 
>f introducing abjured Prelacy and Popery, if it be 
ctin, will be impendent on the Nation. All Natio- 
nal Covenants have a Curfe annexed in Cafe of a 
breach, whenever it fhall be: So, in Nebemiab's Co- 
venant, they clave to their Brethren, and entred into 

I Curfe, and into an Oath to walk in God's Law, 
D a which 

?8 A Vindication 

which was given by Mofes the Servant of God, and 
to obferve and do all the Commandments of the Lord 
our Lord, and his Judgments and his Statutes; partis 
fcularly not to writer into Affinity with their Malignant 
Enemies, Neb. 10. 29, 50. which certainly did oblige 
Pofterity, becaufe the Thing was moral : So in our 
Covenants ue are bound to the fame Things, an" 
nothing but rhefe; and therefore the Pofterity is liaWi 
to the Curfe of Perjury for the Breach thereof. 

X. They are for their Legality National Laws 
being folemnly ratified by the Parliament and by tl 
King, and made the Foundation of their Comp3< 
with him at his Inauguration ; whereby they becar 
fundamental Laws of the Government, and amoi 
the very leges &* reguU regnandt : Which, though they 
be refcinded by a wicked Law, yet make the Refcii 
ders chargeable, not only of Perjury in breaking 
Covenant, but of tfreafon and Tyranny in breaking at 
altering the Conftitution of the Government, and rei 
der them liable to the Curfe thereof; for they canno 
refcind that, nor cfcape its Vengeance : Whereo; 
wc have a fpeakin£ Pledge already, in that the Ri 
fcinder of thefe Covenants was fo terribly refcinded, 
and cut off by the Hands of unnatural Violence; 
God thereby fulfilling that thre3tned Judgment of 
Covenant-breakers, that he that hath broken his Co- 
venant /hall be brought to Deftru&ion, and bloody 
an 1 deceitful Men fhall not live out half their Days, 
Vfal. 55. 20 tilt. So Charles II. got nor Leave to live 
our Half the Days that he projected to himfclf. 

XL They are National Engagements of an herodi- 
tary Nature, like that of IfraeK Deut. 29. 14, 15. 
which did oblige not only the prefent, but the abfent ; 
not only them chat ftood there that Day before the 
Lord their God, but them that were not there that 
Day. Grot'tus di jure bell. Lib. 2. Cap 6. gives theft 
Marks of hereditary Covenants. ift 9 When the Sub~ 
jc& is of a permanent Nature, and as long as manet idem 
corpus : Therefore 3S long as Scotland is Scotland, whofe 
People in their perfonal Capacity, whofe Parliaments 
in their parliamentary Capacity, whofe King in his 


of the Covenants. 29 

princely Capacity, did all folcmnly and facredly en- 
gage in the Covenant, it muftbe real, and perpetually 
obliging. 2dly a> When there is fuch a Claufe in the Cove- 
nant as that itjbould be perpetual There are many Clau- 
fes in the Solemn League to this Purpofe. In Art. i. arc 
thefe Words, tfkat we and out Pofterity after us may % as 
Brethren, live in Faith and Love , and the Lord may delight 
to dwell in the Mdft of us . In the 5 Art. We (ball each one 
of us, according to our Place and Inter eft, endeavour that the 
Kingdoms may remain conjoin din a firm Peace and Union 
to all Pofterity. $dly y When it is fuch as is made for the 
Good of the Kingdom : The Covenant exprefTcs its End for 
the perpetual Good of the Kingdom, having before our Eyes 
the Glory of God \ the Advancement of the Kingdom ofChrifi, 
the Honour and' Happinefs of the King and bis Pofterity, and 
the truepublick Liberty, Safety and Peace of the Kingdoms; 
Wherein every One*s private Condition i$ included. 
And again it is added, For Prefervation of ourfelves 
and our Religion from utter Ruin and Deftru&ion : All 
thit is a publick National Good, fybly, The Matter is 
moral,about materially binding Duties; and therefore 
it muft be hereditary, and of perpetual Obligation. 

XII. and laftly, They are National Obligations, 
taking on publick Duties by way of virtual Repre- 
fentation of the Pofterity ; and they that think it irra- 
tional that the Father ftiould reprefent and involve the 
Family, muft refolve us how the Religious and Civil 
Covenants of lfrael and Judah, made in Alofes, Jqfbua 9 $ % 
David's, Afas, Joafh, Hezekiah, Joftah and Nehemiab's 
Days, did comprehend and bind, as well the ablent 
as the prefent, and their Pofterity yet unborn ? as al- 
fo, how the Laws and Contracts, continually parted 
by ibme, do take.jin others not personally consenting? 
yea, how comes it to pafs that every fucceeding Gene- 
ration is bound to the Laws, and muft be obedient to 
the Kings that they did not make themlclves ? No 
Reafon can be given, but becaufe they are virtually 
reprefented and included in their Fathers. Now, if 
thefe Arguments prove our National Covenants to be 
perpetually binding, and cannot be difpenfed with, 
then muft thefe poftcrior Oaths, that are made in a 


jo AVindicdtion 

diametrical Oppoficion to the Covenant^ and are con- 
demned by rhe Covenants, be falfe and unlawful Oaths , 
but the firft is proved : Therefore thefc Oaths, fo oppo- 
site to and condemned by the Covenants, arc falfc and 
ynlawful, &c. 

The fame Author, in his Introduction to the Re- 
newing of the Covenants at Lefmahago, March 
^d 1688, {which Introduction is delivered by 
way of 'Difcourfe on the z$th Chap, of Deu- 
teronomy) ftates and an fivers the following 
Sgueftion with refpe£t to National Covenanting. 

IT may be doubted, If Covenanting nvitb God, efpe- 
c'taUy National^ be a necejfary or expedient Duty, ap- 
froven in the Scriptures ? 

Anf. The Lawfulnefs of Oaths, Vows and Cove- 
nants, to, for, or before GOD, will be queftioncd by 
none but Sfyakers, and other Entbufiafts, or Fanaticks. 
In the OldTeftament it is here evident the Lord com- 
manded to enter into this Covenant and Oath, v> i y 12. 
and it is never abrogate in the New Teftament, except 
in ordinary Communications, wherein it was condem- 
ned in the Old as well as in the New. And it is fa 
far from being abrogate, that it is confirmed by the A- 
poftle, faying, A Man s Covenant once confirmed cannot 
be difanuliedy Gal. 3.15. And concerning even promif- 
fory Oarhs, faying, That an Oath for Confirmation is 
an End of all Strife, Heb. 6. 1 6. Nor can the Expe- 
diency or the Neceflity of this Duty be doubted by 
any who confiders the Commands enforcing it, the 
Ufefulnefs that the Saints experienced in it, for re- 
training from Sin, for aggravating it in their Humili- 
ations, from this Confidcrarion, That they had vowed 
and covenanted to the contrary ; for tfirring up to the 
Duties bound upon them by the Law, and for encou- 
raging themfelves in the Hope ot Pardon for their 
Shortcomings: We mutt not think it is inconvenient 
to Vow, or that it is indirlerent to Vow, or no: \ 
It is laid indeed, E cl. 5. 5. Better it is that tbeu Jhouidfi 


of the Covenants. 3 1 

not vow, than that thou Jhouldfi vow and not pny t But 
thar does nor make Vowing either inconvenient, inex- 
pedient nor indifferent, or not good (imply ; no mu- c 
than the Apoftle's faying, 2 Pet. 2. 21. It had been bet- 
ter not to have known the iVay of Rigbteoufnefs, than, afc 
ter it is known, to turn from it, will make knowing the 
Way of Righteotifnejs to be cither inconvenient, or in- 
expedient, or not good (imply : For Vowing, as well 
as Paying, is exprefiy commanded, Pfal. 76. 11. And 
in fome Cafes (efpecially in neceffary Things) Vowing 
ind Breaking is better than not Vowing and yet Break- 
ing the Law ; for the latter is two Sins, Omifiion in not 
Vowing, and Commiffion in Breaking, the former only 
the Sin of breaking the Vow; as Mr. Durham clears 
it at large on Command 3d. Pag. 135, 13d, QPc* 
2. As for National Vowing or Covenanting, it is e- 
pidently approven in Scripture Precepts, Promifes and 
Practices. Here is a Scripture Precept for it in the 
Old Teftament, never abrogated in the New. There 
are alfo Promifes, and thefe relating to the New~Tefta- 
ment Times, not only of Perfonal, but of National 
Covenanting; as Churches, and Chriftian Societies, Ifa. 
19. 18, 21, 23. to the End. Jer. 50.4, 5. Zech.2.n. 
And as for Precedents, we have very many of National 
Covenants, made and renewed again and again, foe 
Prefervation and Reformation of Religion, Extirpa- 
:ion of falfe Worfliip, maintaining their Laws, Liber- 
ies and Government, punifhing and reftraining the 
Wicked, keeping the common Peace, and mutual De- 
fence againft the common Enemies. As here,after that 
in Horeb, Ifraet% Covenant is folcmnly fworn under the 
Conduct of Mofes ; And renewed by Jojbua, Jofb. 24* 
By Afa, 2 Chron. 15. 13, 14. Jehojadab, 2 Kings 11. 
17. zChron, 23. 16. Mezehah^ 2 Chron. 29. 10. Jo-. 
Hah, 2 Kings 23. 2. 2 Chron. 34. Ezra, Chap. 10. 3. 
Nehemiab, Chap. 9. ult. and io. 28, 29. Yea, always 
in Times of Humiliation and intended Reformation, 
wc find they fell about this Duty, <Ibat the Lord* s fierce 
Wrath might turn away, 2 Chron. 29. 10. *Io confirm 
[fraeri Hope, Ezra 10. 1. Neb. 9. ult. As alfo, io 
;he New Teftament foxnewbac like this is hinted ar t 

2 Cor. 

3 i A Vindication^ hit. 

a Cor. 8. <- where the Churcnes of Macedonia gave 
their ow 1 fclves ro rhc Lord, and ro the A potties, which 
at |r*it implies a Covenant. 

The faid worthy Mr. Shields , in the above-cited In- 
troduction ro the renewing of the Covenants^clearly and 
fully anfwers all the former and prefent Poptfh, Prelatitk, 
Erafiian and maii^nnnt Objc&ions, raifed by them a- 
cainft our ficred Covenants, and the renewing of the 
lame ; which Introduction deferves to be printed in Let- 
ters of Gcld,and which Anfwers arealfoinfertin the End 
of the Preface to the Renovation of our National Cove- 
nants renewed at Douglas, July 24th 17 12, when the 
juranc Minifters were bufr d about, and complying 
with, the Abjuration-DefeCtLn, by fwearin^ and 
fubferibing that Unlawful and flnful Oath of Abjura- 
tion, conrrary to the very Le u*r o! the Covenants. 
As alfo a Letter, wherein the fcripfaral Grounds and 
Warrantsfor the Reformarion of Churches, byway of 
Covenant, are fuccin&ly confideredand cleared. As alfo 
a Review of a Paper lately written againft the Being and 
Binding of our facred National Covenants, efpccially 
the Solemn League and Covenant of the Three Kingdoms. 
As alfo a Letter to a Minifter in the Country, aiTerting 
our National Covenants well warranted from the New 
Teftament, and therefore lawful and perpetually bin- 
ding; all printed Anno 1 727 : To all which the Reader 
is referred, as fo many {landing publick Witnefles a- 
gainft Mr. Glafs* his Adherents, and their Indepen- 
dent Sc&avian Errors. Pure Refpe&s to, and con- 
fcientious Renovation of, our National Vows with the 
great God, would do more for (topping the prefenc 
Current of Defection, Error, Blafphemy and Pro- 
fanity, and for reviving, reftoring and advancing of our 
old Covenanted Reformation Principles,than all the Ef- 
fays yet fallen upon. Let the laft Words of famous Mr. 
Guthrie upon the Scaffold to the People, after the Cloth 
was upon his Face, and flipping it up again, with a loud 
Voice, crying to the Peoplc,T£* Covenants jtbe Covenants^ 
Jballbe Scotland'/ Reviving) Let thefchisvery laftWord* 
fink deep into your Minds. He was a Seer in our Church 
worth Ten thoufand ; for, as the Man was, fo was hi* 
6trength. FINIS. 

' , .<v: ■ US ■.■ HHH